The Death of ‘The Cinema’

‘The Cinema’ – what-ever this means to you – will one day die. Nothing can or ever will be done to stop this. Death does not have to mean a cease in production rather a decrease in calibre; or its inevitable loss to a superior art form. A more efficient, potent manifestation of expression will overhaul cinema.

In his essay, The Myth of Total Cinema, André Bazin explains that art can be viewed metaphorically as the myth of Icarus. Every art has “to wait on the internal combustion engine before descending from the platonic heavens.” All art will hit a peak, fly to close to the sun, and fall; not forgotten, just not of any further use to society. The relevancy of art requires evolution; meaning, in Bazin’s words “every new development added to the cinema must, paradoxically, take it nearer and nearer to its origins. In short, cinema has not yet been invented.” Seemingly, this means art – not just ‘the cinema’ – can never expire. The mistake on behalf of the observer is believing that these developments are necessary or even anything of value to the expression of the medium. We have not seen the total demise of an art form. Instead, we continually add more developments to existing expressions; extending the expiry date to the brink of destruction. ‘The cinema’ is just one example of the expansion of the early arts, such as painting. The pleasure of viewing still images was not enough for our ancestors, who desired motion to satisfy their craving for spectacle. The age-old expression of song and sound were combined to fulfil this urge further.

This expansion is happening in our culture today. Video games will soon be your ‘cinema’. Allowing the spectator to be more than a spectator; not just passively engaging, but actively changing the course of the narrative. Virtual reality combined with such elements will create entire worlds for the witness to inhabit. Far from perfect these forms of artistic expression are vital to a society distorted and humiliated by constant abominable, heinous figureheads. Instead of grinding down the artistic expression for money and material gain we must use the remnants of a dying idiom to fix what it helped create.

When art dies, society will be released, and the suppression of social undercurrents will no longer be needed; expression will return to the people.

Love and Peace,

Charlie Vickers.

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